Broadcom Announces Bluetooth Smart SoC with Wireless Charging Support for Growing Wearable Market

December 5, 2013

Low Power Design Extends Battery Life for Devices Targeting Internet of Things

IRVINE, CA. - Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced a new Bluetooth® Smart system-on-a-chip (SoC) into its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) family to address the rapidly growing opportunities in different market segments for wearables and the Internet of Things.

Broadcom's BCM20736 WICED Smart chip provides OEMs with a flexible solution that can be incorporated into a wider variety of devices to drive new use cases. The chip includes built-in wireless charging support for the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) standard, opening new doors for innovation in the Internet of Things ecosystem. Additionally, the highly integrated design and smaller size of the BCM20736 reduces power consumption to extend battery life for wearables. Broadcom's new WICED Smart chip reduces cost and uses less power than competing products by enabling OEMs to host advanced applications with an ARM® Cortex M3 processor.

"Broadcom's WICED platform is gaining significant traction with key Internet of Things innovators like Electric Imp. In addition to embedded Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart technology is also growing at a rapid rate and quickly becoming the core of many small, battery-operated wearable devices," said Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom Senior Director, Embedded Wireless, Wireless Connectivity. "We are committed to pushing the boundaries on what wearables are capable of with our new WICED Smart chip. By offering support for wireless charging and reduced power consumption, we are empowering OEMs to design more effective products for more market segments, fueling the next generation of wearables and sensors."

"In the coming years, wearable computing devices will play a more crucial role in our lives. ABI Research projects over 50 million wearable devices will ship in 2013 and 540 million in 2018, providing higher user engagement levels," said Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst for Market Intelligence firm ABI Research. "Bluetooth Smart will be a key enabler for ensuring the link between devices that are constantly 'on' and the optimum battery performance is held."

Key Features of the WICED Smart Chip:

Bluetooth Smart compliant single mode low energy solution
Integrated ARM CM3 microcontroller unit (MCU), radio frequency (RF) and Embedded Bluetooth Smart Stack all on a single chip
Full software support, including GATT, profiles, stack, APIs and application software development kit (SDK)
Power optimized for single mode coin cell operation from 1.2v supply
On-chip support for 2 serial peripheral interfaces (SPIs)
Low latency and low power consumption design
Small form-factor with 6.5 x 6.5 mm solution footprint
Supports A4WP wireless charging and enhanced data security modes
Pin compatible with Broadcom's existing Bluetooth Smart SOCs
Support for secure over the air (OTA) updates

The Broadcom BCM20736 is currently sampling with evaluation boards (EVBs) and SDKs. For more information, go to http://www.broadcom.com

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